One Happy Family: Cross-Network Play Announced!

cross network play

What!? Serious! I cannot believe what I has been reading all over my Facebook feed, “Microsoft Announces Cross Network Play support.”This is amazing and a very bold step for Microsoft more broadly, this a big step for videogamers around the world. Cross Network Play will allow gamers to play with each other through Xbox live and PSN (Playstation Network). The first game for this feature has already been out for sometime. Rocket League, the crazy racecar soccer videogame will connect Xbox and Playstation players together. It does not stop there. Brett Monlina stated in his article, “Chris Charla, the director of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program, says the company has extended an “open invitation” to other networks to participate.“This means PC players can potentially join in on the fun. This is wonderful!

Microsoft is already working on cross platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10, thus bridging the gap between console and PC players. The now cancelled, Fable Legends, was supposed to be the launch game featuring this innovation, but we must wait even longer now.

The implications for cross network play means either the console wars debate is finally dead in the water or it has only begun! I am not for sure. Only time and lots of cross-network compatible games will tell. Personally, I have to decide which system I should play on since I own an Xbox One and PS4. #firstworldproblems Anywho, Sony has to agree to this, but hopefully they will. It would be a puzzling mistake if they do not. Xbox One, PS4, and PC integration is finally on the horizon. Now let’s make sure none of these publishers try to hike up subscription prices or release two versions of game (one that supports cross network play and one that does not). I have my eyes on Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo…ummm…just keep working on Project NX!




R.I.P. Lionhead Studios? (1996-2016?)

lionhead Studios pic

I did not want to believe it. This was a complete surprise and very disheartening to hear. As I woke up from my sleep to then scroll through my Facebook feed that is when I saw this article headline by Polygon, “Microsoft cancels Fable Legends, plans to shutdown Lionhead Studios“. Again, I just did not want to believe it. To verify the story I checked IGN, Gamspot, and the main hub to verify major headlines, Twitter. Sure enough, #LionheadStudios was trending.

So in case you have no idea what I am talking about then let me fill you in. Microsoft has officially canceled the 5-mulitplayer co-op game, Fable Legends. Microsoft has cancelled the development of Project Knoxville and closed Press Play Studios in Denmark. Probably the biggest upset is the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios.

This is again quite disheartening to those who put all their time and effort and creating this IP (intellectual property). A very special IP that was supposed show the power of Xbox One and Windows 10 integration, but now the world may never know…well at least not through Fable Legends.

For full disclosure, I have been a part of the Fable Legends closed beta going on 9 months now. I can definitively tell you that the game was damn near done. Yes, there were glitches and mishaps early on, but I played it 2 weeks ago and everything went smoothly…for the most part. The gameplay was smooth, but one could ponder, “Was the game actually fun?” I would say yes, however, I did not spend much time in multiplayer matches so I can not comment on that. I do not want to get too specific, but the gameplay and the mechanics were satisfactory.

To wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Lionhead Studios and others in creating such a wonderful franchise. I enjoyed playing through the world on Albion in both Fable 2 and Fable 3. I hope everyone finds a new gaming studio to call home! There has been a serious layoffs and studio closure in the past 5 years or so. This is very concerning of course. My hope is that the market shifts put people in more transformative spaces instead of strict monocultures within game development.